Laurel Race Course owner Frank DeFrancis expressed displeasure after yesterday's racing program was canceled when jockeys refused to ride because of icy track conditions.
"I'm shocked," said DeFrancis, "because the riders came out at 8:30 a.m. and said the track was rough.
"They returned at 9:30 and the jockey representatives, Mario Pino and Donald Miller, said that the track had improved a great deal. At 10 a.m., the jockeys voted not to ride.
"I'm shocked because earlier jockey Alberto Delgado worked the undefeated Triple Crown colt Quick Departure for trainer John Lenzini. Do you think that Lenzini would risk a colt of that value over a track that was unsafe? Like I said, I'm shocked and disappointed."
Delgado, contacted at his home, said: "Yes, Quick Departure did gallop over the track, but he didn't work hard. When I finished galloping him, I went back over the path we took and saw the ice on the track. I'm glad we didn't work him out . . . it could have been dangerous."
The cancellation was the second in as many days. Monday's card was called off by track officials. Laurel still has three dark Wednesdays left in its schedule and may ask the racing commission for permission to run the lost programs on those days.